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ST. CROIX — Local dignitaries were among a gathering at Government House here for the unveiling of the portraits of Governors Charles Wesley Turnbull and Roy Lester Schneider on Monday, where the men were spoken of as champions of the territory for taking up the monumental task of leading the U.S.V.I. and its people.
The idea of displaying governors’ portraits in the halls of the territory’s government houses was birthed by Governor Kenneth Mapp, who hired renowned local artist Shansi Miller for the job. After introductions and the biographies of both governors were read in the ball room, guests were invited to the back of the room for the official unveiling.
Attendees gushed as the paintings were unveiled, and both former governors appeared to have appreciated the work that was done. The paintings looked as if they were pictures taken using a professional camera, but are actual paintings of the venerable artist. Mr. Mapp said the governors were asked to visit Government House and act as if they were governing in the office, so that Ms. Miller could capture moments that would be considered into her final work.
While still gathered at the back of the room where the unveiling occurred, the governor spoke briefly as to why the paintings had become a mission of his. He said he’s seen tourists — including Danish visitors — visit the Government Houses of the territory, and have been able to stand near portraits of Danish leaders who once ruled the U.S.V.I., for photo opportunities. But the same could not be said for the territory’s governors, and Mr. Mapp said students who visit the U.S.V.I.’s Government Houses to know their history.
As the guests were directed back to the ball room’s front, Mr. Schneider and Mr. Turnbull were invited to offer remarks. There, the former governors expressed gratitude for the honor, and reminisced on their own times as chief executive. Both men heaped praise on the current leader, though, with Mr. Schneider calling for a standing ovation for Mr. Mapp in recognition of the governor’s performance following the 2017 storms.
The official ceremony was followed by mingling among the attendees.
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